Using treats to train a dog is the preferred method by behaviorists and educated trainers. Choke collars, prong collars and shock collars are downright dangerous (http://www.adogsview.net/Types-of-Collars.html
). I personally would take my dog to Petsmart training over any other training in the area because those are the most educated trainers. Down in west Georgia my choices are Mans Best Friend (which I would never choose because they train dogs with chokers and prong collars which are dangerous) or Sit Means Sit (which I would NEVER use because they use shock collars to teach stupid things like sit or stay which not only is dangerous but psychologically damaging and raises cortical levels which can cause health problems in the future. Not to mention that they have been banned in 13 countries because they meet the physical and legal requirements for abuse!) or Bark Busters (which teaches 'dominance' or 'alpha' training, a method that has been out of favor with the general public for 20 years and was never supported by behaviorists). Petsmart has the only training program around that uses all the latest in behavioral science. Now, since it is a big company you are bound to get some idiots here or there, it is definitely worth it to do your homework. Your dogs well being is at stake.
As for treats being a 'crutch' this is true. But for every adult dog 'that should know better' still using treats I can counter with adult and even old dogs still being shocked or jerked around on a choker. At least treats are safer!
I have never used anything but treats and a clicker and I have never had a problem with any dog i've ever had. My dogs can sit/stay/come at a crowded dog park and I've even had a poodle turn mid-stride from chasing a rabbit! I had no treat on me that day and he still did it. I had a lab halt in his tracks after chasing a car, also with out treats.
I love my dogs too much to rely on any other method of training.